Sacred Things: Blue Stripe and Ralphie

"I Hope You Earn It"

Blue StripeJohn has two sacred things these days.

The first is the blue stripe on the taekwondo belt he earns by great behavior choices.

The blue stripe that is lost (ripped off like a bandaid by Mom) for poor behavior choices.

There are other colors of stripes earned, but blue is very special.

Here is the corpse of such a blue stripe, no longer on John’s belt.

It is an intervention of last resort, and hard to earn back.

The second sacred thing is a movie (A Christmas Story),

but he sort of socially stims on the “Daddy is going to kill Ralphie” part, blurting it out in public out of context.

After too many warnings, I hid the movie.

Months later, I found it and brought it out of time-out.

2016-07-18 21.48.48

Eyes of a hawk, John spotted it like the opiate it is, and begged for the movie again.

I said OK, after his list was done.

And then, suddenly, it was past bedtime on a school night.

I said, “turn it off now or I will hide it again.”

Wow.  It worked.

My favorite re-direct when John is nagging (perseverating) about something he wants:

I say, “Earn it”.

Short and sweet works quite well under this roof.

Maybe something here may help you.

Peace be with us,



Swallowing On Purpose, Part 2

Bigger, More, Diversity and Practice

swallow-2First, a bit about capsule sizes:  #5 is the smallest, working up through #00, then on to horse-sized.

If he can swallow these vitamins and nutritional supplements instead of Mom mushing everything up sugar-laden juice cocktails, then I will get more sleep.

Oops, I mean . . . . . . . John will grow in independence.

And travel will become far less stressful and more  normal.

Whatever normal is.

Also, some of what John needs to swallow tastes wretched; I know because I taste everything myself.

So I re-package it inside tasteless capsules.

I have mentioned the help of Rosemary Slade, OTR, and daily practice.

John has grown in skill: moving through #5’s, #3’s and round uncoated tablets (slightly smaller than an M&M)

The oval tablets I cut in half.swallow-more

Because John has started resisting the “sugar-laden juice cocktail” with all the stuff in it.

Thus causing an exhausting power-struggle.

Now John has grown into swallowing a pile like this (second photo) twice daily, with water in a cup with a straw.

Hardly any juice, less power struggle.

And increased oral motor skills and swallowing ability.

And this morning, I added two (far bigger) #0 capsules.  

John said “too big!”

I said “try, you are a big boy!”

And then they were gone.

Try this with your kids?

Peace be with us,


Building Banter Via Drive-Throughs

Creative Compromise, Longer Tethers of Independence

2016-06-30 18.04.53-2John wanted Burger King (they have paper towels in their bathrooms).

I wanted McDonald’s (they have chocolate dip cones).

So we were bantering back and forth in the car.

I was using every variation of voice, tone, pitch and silliness I could think of.

John was mirroring these that back, and creating some of his own.

Huge grin on his face.

Finally, John offered a creative solution.

“First Burger King, then McDonald’s.”

(Like he’s never heard, “first this, then that” ever before in his life!)

His solution just popped out of his mouth, and I hadn’t thought of it.

(To be honest, this was not the first time we have gone through more than one drive-through to appease everyone.)

I had to say “OK!”

And I didn’t get out of the car at Burger King.

I pulled up close to the door, and like we often do to stretch his independence,

John went in solo, and came out solo.

Big boy, intrinsic motivation stuff.

So maybe this might give you some ideas to try.

Peace be with us,